The Men and the Girls

The Men and the Girls

Paperback

By (author) Joanna Trollope

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 198mm x 20mm | 229g
  • Publication date: 1 January 1994
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552994928
  • ISBN 13: 9780552994927
  • Sales rank: 136,150

Product description

Julia Hunter and Kate Bain have found true happiness with men old enough to be their fathers. Julia organises her husband Hugh and their cherubic twins with ruthless efficiency and Kate has lived with James, for eight years, and although she refuses to marry him, she's apparently devoted to him. Hugh and James, lifelong friends, feel blessed indeed. But age differences cannot be ignored forever and when James accidentally knocks a fiercely independent spinster from her bicycle a chain of events is set off in which many suppressed discontents and frustrations emerge. Kate begins to seek out friends of her own age and Julia's career begins to blossom just as her husband's starts to decline ...The tranquil lives of the men and the girls seem shattered as new relationships develop and old anxieties surface.

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Author information

Joanna Trollope is the author of eagerly awaited and sparklingly readable novels often centred around the domestic nuaunces and dilemmas of life in present-day England. She has also written a number of historical novels and Britannia's Daughters, a study of women in the British Empire. Joanna Trollope was born in Gloucestershire and now lives in London. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.

Review quote

"One of the finest chroniclers of the way we live now" Independent on Sunday "The queen of the domestic dilemma...observant and emphatic" The Sunday Times "A rare pleasure to find characters so likeable that one cares what becomes of them" Evening Standard "A delight. Trollope is never less than graceful and searchingly observant" Independent "Wholly enjoyable" The Times

Editorial reviews

Happy endings of the most defensible kind, helped along by an unlikely good fairy - Miss Beatrice Bachelor, a "real original and very brave" - abound in Trollope's latest take on love and life in contemporary Britain (A Village Affair, 1989, etc.). Set mostly in that part of Oxford familiar to PBS fans of Inspector Morse, the story, like an updated Shakespearean comedy, begins with two couples that drift into dangerous areas come close to parting, but, thanks to the good offices of Miss Bachelor, are reunited at the end. James Mallow, in his early 60s, a journalist and teacher, lives happily with much younger Kate and her 14-year-old daughter, Joss, along with ancient and irascible Uncle Leonard. James's old friend Hugh, a TV personality married to much younger Julia, and father of young twin sons, lives nearby. An accident introduces James to Miss Bachelor, who lives in one room, along with Cat, a character in his own right. Meanwhile, Kate, feeling increasingly overwhelmed by her responsibilities - she also volunteers at a home for battered women - decides to move out, but Joss, a typical adolescent, stays on. It's the only home she knows, and she, as well as Uncle Leonard, has by now met Miss Bachelor and is also taken with her good sense and originality. Though Hugh's show on euthanasia - Uncle Leonard and Miss Bachelor, who helped her ailing brother die, contribute their forthright opinions - is a hit, Hugh's contract is not renewed. Which means that when Julia behaves absolutely marvelously to him, Hugh can't stand it and moves in with James. Kate, badly beaten by a lover, finally meets Miss Bachelor, who gives her the advice she needs. Hugh, missing the twins, heads home; subplots are deftly resolved; and all's well that ends well. One of those rare novels that can claim the high middle-ground where wisdom, wit, and literate characters meet to tell an entertaining - and all-around fulfilling - story. (Kirkus Reviews)